06 March 2011

worth repeating

No need to convince those of us interested in maternity care...but to the average American, this article in a PA paper is needed information:

One of the biggest opportunities for reducing health care costs is improving the quality of maternity care. For most businesses, childbirth and newborn care is the largest or second largest (after heart care) category of hospital expenditures, and it's by far the largest category of hospital expenditures for state Medicaid programs. So even small improvements can result in large savings.

The place to start is with the most common hospital procedure in America -- the cesarean section. A C-section is a surgical delivery of a baby, rather than a normal, vaginal delivery. Not only does a C-section typically cost twice as much as a vaginal delivery, it is more likely to result in infections, injuries and other complications for both mothers and babies.


Jennifer West said...

Does a mother need to be tested first before choosing the kind of delivery? My sisters and I were all delivered thru C-section and my mother said that yes, it's way more expensive than normal delivery. She needed to take antibiotics to prevent infections, I think. My eldest sister however, gave birth to her first child thru vaginal delivery. After giving birth to her last child, she discussed having labiaplasty in California to fix her overstretched skin.

Anyway, I believe it would be better if there will hospitals for C-section separated from normal.

DoulaMomma said...

Women are tested, I suppose, in whether they are considered low risk or high risk (and I mean truly high risk...not just being over 35!)...but anyone who tries to say they can tell by looking at someone or even examining someone internally to say whether they are capable of giving birth vaginally is not practicing evidence-based medicine.
In my humble opinion, women should not be choosing surgery - that's a medical determination...it's a serious abdominal surgery putting the mother at a 4x greater risk than vaginal birth and should only be done out of necessity, not convenience or other non-medical reasons.
Women who are low risk can give birth outside of settings where surgery is readily available (birth center, home), but any birth can turn into a situation where intervention, including medication or surgery, is needed, so separation already exists to a certain extent but every birth needs to have access to hospital interventions in case of emergency. That said, it would be most helpful to have more birth centers, both attached and apart from hospitals...hospitals and home births do not meet everyone's needs.
And getting to the heart of the article, our country and health care system could greatly benefit from low tech birth options to lower cesarean rates and thus improve outcomes associated with overuse of technology/intervention while saving huge sums of money.

There are some great books you might want to check out...a few off the top of my head:
"The Big Book Of Birth" - Lyons
"Pushed" - Block
"Your Best Birth" - Lake & Epstein?
"The Thinking Woman's Guide To A Better Birth" - Goer

and so many more!